I have written a little bit about the emotional roller coaster that is the adoption process, but having just returned from China with our new son Ty, I have experienced emotions that I never expected to feel. It is funny how often I think I know exactly how I will react in situations, but the older I get the more I am realizing I have no idea how different situations will impact me.
The one thing that I am convinced of at this point, is that the emotional ride is only just beginning. I don’t know how many people that will read this are in the process of adopting, or might even be considering it, but I feel like it is something that I just need to share. It may not help anyone else, but writing is very therapeutic for me so I am writing just to get it all out.
I already wrote about my feelings the night before our son arrived at our hotel so I will go ahead and skip that, but just the very next day presented a whole new range of emotions for me and my wife.
It is bit of a surreal experience standing in a hotel room waiting for your new child to be delivered. If it sounds like we had ordered a pizza or something and were just waiting for it to be delivered, then you kind of understand the mix of emotions that I was feeling as we waited. This may sound cold or emotionless but that could not be farther from the truth for all of the obvious reasons, the biggest being that we are talking about a human being having his entire life changed. To top it all off, we were the ones changing it.
Crash Aunt and I have discussed a few times since then how hard it must have been on him, something that we can in no way comprehend. Adoption on its own is a beautiful sincere thing where you are trying to provide a better life for an orphan (more on that word later) but I am not sure that I had actually considered how incredibly hard this event was going to be on him. He is about three and a half years old, and for the last two years his entire life has been essentially one building with the same beds, and the same general foods, and maybe most difficult to leave behind, the same nannies.
While I am someone that generally enjoys change and looks forward to new experiences, my stuff, my bed, and most importantly the people close to me, namely my family, are things I always get to take with me to help me feel comfortable and safe. While Ty no longer had an actual family that he knew, those nannies have been his family for more than half his life, and he will likely never see them again. The thought of losing all of the people I know forever just strikes fear into my heart, and I was doing that to this sweet little boy. But this sweet little boy was no longer going to be an orphan.
I can honestly say that I don’t think I ever connected my new son with the word orphan until right before we met him for the first time. Obviously I was aware that he had been abandoned and had no parents, but for some reason the specific word “orphan” had just never been something that I associated with him before. In the past when I thought of orphans I thought of the ones that you see in movies like Annie or even Cinderella. Sure they had a tough life not having parents, but they always seemed so happy, and it ultimately worked out for them. But when I finally did connect that word with Ty I couldn’t help but feel sad for him. He had lost his parents and would likely never know anything about them.
I really just wanted to cry.
Those are the perfect feelings to be having right before your son walks through the door to have his life changed forever, but nevertheless they were my feelings. Everyone reacts differently in these types of situations, and I have found it hard to be totally honest with people about all of the feelings I felt, but never was that more true than in the hours and days after we first met our son…